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Managing Your Mental Health — How To Avoid Stress While Trying To Conceive image
08 October 2019
Managing Your Mental Health — How To Avoid Stress While Trying To Conceive
Growing your family can be one of the most overwhelming experiences in your life— even for those who are easily able to conceive. But for the nearly one in ten women who struggles to conceive or stay pregnant, the path to parenthood can feel like an even more difficult road. No matter where you are in your fert...
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Fertility Nurse Kate Davies Explains PCOS Signs to Watch for in Dr. Oz image
03 October 2019
Fertility Nurse Kate Davies Explains PCOS Signs to Watch for in Dr. Oz
Despite the fact that it affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age, many people have never heard of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). It’s a hormonal disorder, and common symptoms range from irregular periods to bouts of depression and even infertility. Many of the signs of PCOS are similar to those associated...
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What Is a Fertile Window, and How Do You Find Yours? image
30 September 2019
What Is a Fertile Window, and How Do You Find Yours?
When you’re trying to conceive, you need to make sure you’re trying at the right time, under the right circumstances. As you may or may not know, there are certain days of your cycle when it is easier to get pregnant. Known as the ‘fertile window’, this is a small number of days that revolve around your o...
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18 January 2018
PCOS - kiss my A**! I'm pregnant with OvuSense baby number 2!

Ladies, it is with pleasure that I am over the moon to tell you all that I am pregnant again. Baby No. 2 is on the way, due March 2018!  I conceived with OvuSense 3 years before this after 18 years of trying.

I knew I was from my Ovusense chart, sadly and annoyingly I missed a week of using it! I really want to know what happened in that gap but the end result is the same. ❤️

Doctors said I'd never have children without IVF...pfffft. Prolactinoma, screw you. PCOS, suck it. MTHFR, kiss my Ass!

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09 January 2018
Secondary Infertility – The Facts

What is Secondary Infertility

Secondary infertility is a common problem. The term secondary infertility refers to the inability to become pregnant or the inability to carry a pregnancy to a live birth following either a previous pregnancy or a previous live birth. This definition, therefore, includes women who have had a previous miscarriage or stillbirth, as well as those who already have a child.

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30 March 2016
14 Factors that can negatively affect ovulation and your fertility

Take a read of the most common factors that affect ovulation and your fertility..................

 

Age

It is a well-known fact that the older you are the more difficult it is to conceive. The average age of the menopause and the end of a woman’s reproductive life is around 52 years of age. However even a decade or so before she may experience fertility problems, as her cycles become less regular and the quality of her eggs decline. Tragically, some women experience a premature menopause as early as their 30’s or 40’s.

There is no definitive age when fertility starts to decline and every woman is different, however it’s important for women of any age who are struggling to conceive to get advice sooner rather than later.

Hereditary factors

Women will generally experience the menopause around the same time that their mother did. So, ask your mother how old she was when she went through the menopause. This will give you a good idea of when it may happen for you so you can make decisions on when to start a family or to seek help if time is running out.

Smoking

Everyone knows that you shouldn’t smoke when you are pregnant, but few women realise the impact that smoking can have on your fertility. The shocking facts are that smoking ages your ovaries by 10 years and smoking can adversely affect the ease in which the egg travels down the fallopian tubes to meet the sperm.

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29 March 2016
Does being overweight affect my fertility?

If you have been trying to conceive for a little while, it’s very likely that you’ve either read or been told that being overweight makes falling pregnant more difficult. However, then you walk down the street and what do you see? You see a woman who looks as though she has a problem with her weight, pushing a pram. Your first thought is ‘This isn’t fair’’ and then probably something like ‘’Why can she get pregnant when she’s overweight and I can’t? Your feelings of frustration deepen and your sadness grows.

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You may have experienced the upsetting scenario when your doctor says that you need to ‘’Go away and lose weight and come back when you’ve got your BMI down to 30/35’’. You leave the hospital feeling disappointed and unsupported. No one likes to be told they are overweight. Least of all women and even less so a woman who is trying to conceive

I’ve heard these stories from my patients over and over again. Trust me, if you’ve been in one of those scenarios, you are far from alone.

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29 October 2015
The guilt of secondary infertility

In our PCOS Facebook Support group we have a lovely mixture of group members, some who are trying to conceive for the first time and many who may already have children. I recently asked the women in the group suffering from secondary infertility (the difficulty in conceiving after having previously conceived and carrying the pregnancy to term or suffering a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy), how not being able to conceive again made them feel.

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03 November 2015
Must know fertility facts - Part Two

By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

Welcome to Part 2 of must-know fertility facts. I hope you found Part 1 useful and you are ready to find out a little more. If so, get comfortable, sit down with a cuppa, and read on. In this blog we look at the reasons for infertility and what steps you can make to help improve your fertility.
 
 

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03 November 2015
Is your occupation affecting your fertility?

By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

Is your work environment making it more difficult for you to conceive?

 

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Recent studies have looked into the impact various occupations have on the ability for both men and women to conceive. It appears that your fertility can be affected by many differing occupations.
 
Researchers at Southampton University studied data from 119,000 women who work night shifts on a regular basis. Not only did they find that these women had an increased risk of miscarriage, they also identified that women working nights found it more difficult to conceive.
The obvious logistics of not sharing a bed at the same time as your partner may have some influence on the time it may take for a shift worker to conceive, however the study found that lack of sleep and disturbed sleep impacted the most.
 
The physiological cycles of our bodies are regulated by the cycle of wakefulness and sleep, otherwise known as the circadian rhythm. If this cycle is out of balance our hormones can be disrupted leading to menstrual cycle disturbances and difficulties in conceiving.
 
 

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03 November 2015
Key fertility tips for trying to conceive

By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

Here are a few more fertility tips you might want to consider. You may have already started to monitor and record your temperature every day and if so, this is an excellent step in the right direction to maximizing your chances of conception.

However, there is more that you can do. The next step is to start observing your cervical secretions. Healthy cervical secretions are a key factor in helping you to determine when you are fertile and likely to conceive.

Healthy, good-quality secretions are vital in helping sperm wait for ovulation and then navigate the long journey to reach the egg. Throughout the menstrual cycle your secretions change.

At the beginning of your cycle, during your period you won’t notice any secretions at all, as any that are present are likely to be obscured by your blood loss. After your period finishes, it is also normal not to notice any secretions for a few days, and this is what we refer to as ‘dry days’.

Around the second week of your cycle, you may start to notice secretions in your underwear or on toilet paper. You may also be aware of a sensation of ‘heaviness’ in your vulva and the presence of secretions. This sudden onset of secretions is caused by the fluctuations in your female sex hormones, namely due to the hormone oestrogen. At this time the secretions are generally scanty, white and thick in appearance. Any signs of secretions tell you that you are now in your fertile time.

As your cycle progresses the secretions will increase in amount and become thinner and cloudy in appearance. As you reach the middle of your cycle you will notice profuse secretions that are thin and transparent. You may also be aware of a ‘slippery sensation’ in the vulva. At this stage, if you were to do the ‘finger test’ you would be able to stretch the secretions between finger and thumb (you would not be able to do this with earlier secretions). This is your body telling you that you are, or about to, ovulate. As ovulation only last for 12-24 hours this is crucial time to have sex.

I recommend to all my patients that they observe their secretions throughout the day and record their observations in a diary at bedtime. If you put this information together with your temperature recordings, you will see how all the information comes together.

By recording your secretions you can tell when your fertile time starts and observe your temperature for confirmation that you have ovulated. Some women I see aren’t able to identify secretions at all, or find it difficult to tell the difference between the types of secretions. In some circumstances, this may be due to inadequate oestrogen levels, or lifestyle factors. Some things you can do to increase the quantity and quality of your secretions:

  • Ensure you are in a healthy weight range. A body mass index (BMI) of 19-24 is considered healthy.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking alters how the hormone oestrogen is metabolised by the body.
  • Avoid using soap or body wash as this changes the delicate pH balance of the vagina and secretions.
  • Don’t use any lubrication during sex as this may interfere with your observations and restrict the movement of sperm.
  • Some medication such as antihistamines can decrease the amount of secretions. However, do not cease any prescribed medication until you have discussed this with your doctor.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep yourself well hydrated.
  • Be careful with high doses of vitamin C as this may have the action of drying secretions.
  • Although there is no conclusive evidence, it is believed that eating foods with high alkaline properties may improve secretions. Enjoy foods like celery, cabbage, kale, pumpkins, watercress and almonds, and avoid highly acidic foods like beef, pork, bacon, wheat, corn and some dairy such as cheese and cows' milk.

I hope you have found today’s blog interesting and that it helps you to have the confidence to understand your cervical secretions and what your body is telling you.

If reading my blog today has made you think about your fertility and you would like to discuss this then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can reach me by emailing kate.davies@fertility-focus.com

Kate. xx

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03 November 2015
Four reasons why I NEVER recommend ovulation predictor kits (OPKs)!

By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

Have you ever used ovulation predictor kits (OPK’s) to predict when you ovulate? Have you had a good or bad experience of using OPK’s? I am very sceptical of the reliability of this ovulation prediction method and as a result, I don’t recommend them to any of my patients. Here’s why……….

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03 November 2015
Learning to love Mother's Day

By Kate Davies, RN, BSc(Hons), FP Cert - Fertility Nurse

For those of you living in the UK, you’ll be aware that Mothering Sunday occurs in late March. Additionally, Mother's Day in the USA is May, as it is in Canada and some parts of Europe. I suspect, when this time of year comes around, you feel a sense of dread. For many it will be yet another year when your arms feel empty and your longing for a baby to fill this empty space is intensified.
 
However, this year, I challenge you to think differently about Mother’s Day; I want you to learn to love it for totally different reasons and I want you to turn the idea of Mother’s Day on its head. I want you to flip it, and here's how: think of this day as not just for mothers, there are many different ways you can learn to accept Mother’s Day without being a mother yet yourself.
 
 

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